Sunday, August 13, 2017


Feast (2005)

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So if you follow me on Twitter you'll know that I spent my Sunday evening watching the Feast trilogy and, like... tweeting about it. If you don't follow me, then I'm going to boil down my thoughts on these three movies for your reading pleasure. I'm going to cover the first one tonight, and post reviews of the second two next week to keep you on the edge of your seats (also because I am tired).

Feast is about a back road bar full of quirky characters besieged by a family of gross, hairy monsters intent on eating everybody inside. The people, almost all of whom are total assholes, must band together in order to survive the attack. Most of them die.

The movie conveniently skips any character development by giving a quick profile on each of the numerous characters, which is fun and stylish and allows the movie to get to the action almost immediately. We're given a rough idea of who each person is, what horror tropes they embody, and their life expectancy, doing away with needless chit-chat.

For the most part, the movie is pretty cool, utilizing the kind of editing tricks you would see in one of those sexy crime films, making it look all slick and modern. That wears off about halfway through the movie, though, so the style is uneven throughout.

It's not intense or scary in any capacity, but there's lots of blood and gore (and I mean lots) to keep me interested. I mean, it's not Evil Dead level, but it's certainly plentiful. Limbs get severed, heads burst, eyes get pulled out of skulls, and the effects are pretty decent.

What's most interesting about the movie is that it goes out of its way to subvert the horror tropes that it establishes, making for great situational irony. The character (Eric Dane) who seems like the standard "kick-ass hero" (his name is even given as "Hero") gets killed almost immediately upon his arrival. The cute waitress (Jenny Wade) who's set up to either get murdered, become the love interest for one of the male characters, or morph into a gun toting badass does exactly none of those things. And just about any time somebody makes a definitive statement (e.g., "they won't notice me here") the opposite thing happens (e.g., they get eaten right after uttering those words). It makes for a clever, self aware monster movie that never goes where I expected it to. Be that as it may, the black guy still died early on, I'm just sayin'.

Not pictured: monster dick
While the monsters aren't especially fear-inducing, they are pretty cool looking. They've got heads like cow skulls and big old horns and look like something out of The Dark Crystal or an equally terrifying children's film.

They're also shown to be incredibly smart (although not smart enough to, say, set traps or anything like that) and capable of lightning fast reproduction, which makes the human character's situation all the more dire.

 Later on in the movie, the skulls are revealed to be a sort of mask and the monsters underneath are your standard hairy, toothy movie monster, albeit with way more attention given to their cocks than I've ever seen in a monster movie.

This brings me to one of the biggest downsides of the movie. Feast is a horror comedy but, instead of relying on irony (the highest form of comedy), it throws in a lot of Scary Movie grade body humour. Now, before you think I'm some sort of prude, I am not averse to a well executed dick joke. This movie just goes overboard into teenage boy territory. For example, in addition to wanting to eat just about everything, the monsters really like to fuck the shit out of everything, and three scenes - three - are devoted to them humping people, inanimate objects, or each other. Because... that's funny, I guess? NOT TO ME IT'S NOT. Once, I could live with. Three times, not so much. Basically, that sent me from "oh hell yeah" to "oh fuck no" in record time.

The other issue that I had was that there were, like, a fuckton of characters, most of whom were fodder for the first half hour. I understand why that is. You need to show that the monsters are really bad and can kill and eat a whole bunch of people, but I quickly lost track of how many people there were, how many survived, and where exactly all of them were. This left me wistfully confused as I would occasionally remember some character from the beginning and wonder where the hell they went.

Ultimately, this movie is decent. It takes a pretty generic premise and makes it interesting by defying expectations. It would have been pretty good if it hadn't leaned so heavily on juvenile humour, but it definitely shows promise. Boy howdy, I bet the sequels are some good. Tune in next week to find out.

- Character profiles, including life expectancy (+1)
- So much blood (+1)
- Stereotype subversion (+1)
- Situational irony (+1)
- Clu Gulager (+1)
- Cool looking monsters (+1)
Total: (+6)

- Monsters humping stuff (-3)
- Too many characters (-1)
- Henry Rollins (-1)
Total: (-5)
Final Score: +1

Directed by: John Gulager.  Written by: Marcus Dunstan, Patrick Melton.  Starring: Balthazar Getty, Krista Allen, Clu Gulager, Navi Rawat, Jenny Wade, Henry Rollins, Josh Zuckerman, Duane Whitaker, Judah Friedlander, Eileen Ryan, Diane Ayala Goldner, Eric Dane.

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